Author: Kevin Hearne
Details: Paperback, 336 pgs.
Published: July 5th, 2011 by Random House
Reading Level: Adult
This isn't the typical description, but this is what it says on goodreads. It gives you a good idea of what is in the series as a whole.
When I first discovered urban fantasy at a brick n' mortar Barnes & Noble, the basic concept compelled me like no other: you take some fantastical critters or magical doodads, slap 'em down in a contemporary setting, and then hang on for the ride.
Think of it: The entire world's collected mythology and folklore is waiting to be mined for fictional gold. That's what makes urban fantasy the most exciting genre to read and write for me. The potential for supernatural shenanigans in the present seems infinite. To narrow the focus a bit and keep myself sane, when I sat down to write Hounded, the first book of The Iron Druid Chronicles, I made myself a list of what I wanted to contribute to the genre. I wanted an unusual hero, easily distinguishable from others; I wanted to give man's best friend a voice, and I wanted it to be a big best friend, like an Irish wolfhound; I wanted a little old lady sipping whiskey on her porch, some gratuitous allusions to Shakespeare, and a beautiful, (mostly) normal girl in there with freckles and strawberry lip gloss; and I wanted a whole lot of gods and goddesses trying to survive in a secular world, especially from some pantheons we don't hear about all that often. Also, because they kind of scare me, no leather pants.
The Iron Druid Chronicles follows the adventures of Atticus O'Sullivan, a 2,100-year-old Druid who's discovered that it's the little things in life that make it worth living, and he can continue to enjoy those things so long as he hides from the Irish gods who want to kill him. Unfortunately, once he decides to take a stand, he draws the attention of all sorts of beings who thought the last real Druid had passed from this world long ago.
Part of the great fun of writing a character this old is figuring out where Atticus was during all of history's great events and whether he might have had a hand in them. But the pith, the core of what makes him so interesting to me is how he handles outliving all his friends and loved ones: How does he hang on to his humanity when his lifespan is greater than that of every other human?
The Iron Druid Chronicles still has plenty of familiar urban fantasy elements, but I hope readers will enjoy this very different hero who can talk to both gods and dogs, yet loves nothing so much as conversing with friends over a fine plate of fish and chips and a pint to wash it down.
I'm so sad that we now have a long wait for more books in the series. I'm going to go through serious withdrawals because I'm in love with Atticus. There, I admit it. I'm in love. He's not the perfect guy in every way. I mean, he can really be kind of childish (like giving wedgies, and other ridiculous boy things like that) but he's lived for so long that whatever makes him happy, I can live with a little weird humor. And he's so kick ass! I mean, he can kick ass and have his humor at the same time. Seriously, I'm pretty certain I don't know another guy in the world that's as funny as Atticus.
I started this book shortly before my husband came home from work and when he saw I was reading another Iron Druid book he rolled his eyes. Because the whole time I'm reading these books I'm very expressive. I laugh a lot and I make a lot of noises. When I'm disappointed I groan, or when it's intense I click my nails and make weird noises. You know, stuff like that. I can't keep it in! I need everyone around me to know that the book is very very good and I'll read bits and pieces to anyone who's around if they'll stick around long enough to listen. There are just so many parts that are so amazing I can't hardly handle keeping the awesome feeling inside. I want to read it to the world! Unfortunately the world is usually just my husband who really wishes I would shut up and stop reading the book to him. I just don't get how it's not interesting to him! It's just one of those series' that I want to get the whole world to read. So if you haven't yet, DO IT!
Now, a bit more about this book in particular...
This book didn't disappoint. It had everything I could have asked for and more. It starts off with some pretty intense action (with some very funny parts) and then slows down just a little for a bit of HILARIOUSNESS. I spent a lot of time laughing before it moved on to the part where we got some backstories. They weren't boring at all and were actually quite fascinating. Then there was some serious ass kicking and then, well, I can't tell you the result of that but the book left off with some quite open threads and cliffhangers. So... now we wait... and wait... and wait.... for the next one.
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